1 July 2016

Hi from Ben

Hello There! My name is Ben and I am VERY excited to say that I’ve recently joined the South Lakes upland footpath team. I have a passion for the fells as they’ve been a great source of enjoyment for me and I’m looking forward to contributing to their conservation and maintaining the footpaths whatever the weather.

For the past 4 years I have been down in sunny Kent working as a ranger for the National Trust in the countryside at Toys Hill and the Chartwell estate. Originally being from Cumbria it’s only natural that I felt the pull of the Lake District and recently moved back north.
Not a bad day up Grisedale Tarn.
It is exactly one month since I started with the team and what a month it’s been! I’ve had the pleasure of working with Joe, Sarah and Nick, with them I’ve been learning some of the techniques involved in upland path work including rock pitching, Drain building and landscaping. These techniques are all used as ways to encourage the many keen fell wanderers to use the paths and to help us prevent erosion.
A small section of pitching Joe and I have been working on.

A view from Helvellyn.

Between a rock and a......large sheet of ice

The picture above is the view from the summit of Helvellyn (950m), in the middle is the famous/infamous Striding Edge, to the left is the cove containing Red Tarn, and furthest left Swirral edge. The cove is a fantastic place to sit and have your sandwich and take in the dramatic views. How ever if you happened to be sitting having your sandwich in the same spot 13 – 20,000 years ago you would be knee deep or potentially hundreds of feet deep in a glacier. Red Tarn cove is good example of a ‘glacial cirque’, at the start of an ice age these ‘glacial cirques’ are the locations where glaciers first develop and then spread down through the valleys below where they gouge and deepen the valley floors. When Glaciers retreat they do so back up to the Cirques where they began. Its also worth noting that if/when/how?!/really?? another Ice age were to begin these beautiful mountain tarns would again be the first places to form new glaciers. You have been warned!

Our fell work season is now in full swing and we will certainly be busy. Over the next few weeks the South Lakes team will be working on projects across the park with the ‘Fix the Fells’ lengthsmen, working holiday groups and the West Lakes footpath team. If you’re out in the Hills and you happen to see us feel free to come and say hi!

 Have  a great summer!